Clubhouse allows up to 5,000 users to join audio chat rooms that vanish after the chat is over. Some users say its format makes them feel more willing to share personal stories and listen to different opinions. One user said in a chatroom about censorship that everyone can see that all the people on the mainland labeled as dissidents, like Hong Kong’s pro-democracy demonstrators, are are real people. They no longer hear their voices filtered through the official media.
Since Saturday, I’ve spent most of my waking hours wandering from one Clubhouse chat room to another. In one room, a documentary filmmaker shared his thoughts on making a film about a subculture of young migrant workers, called Smart, who tried to stand out. in a culture of adherence through wild hair and piercings. In another article, a PhD student in sociology talked about her experiences as a meal handler. A group of feminists read the works of feminist writers. More than 3,000 people joined a chatroom specializing in mocking Hu Xijin, possibly the Communist Party’s most notorious propagandist. (A favorite line: “As long as we have enemies everywhere, we don’t have enemies.”)
A chat room with over 100 people from Northwest China, where I go, focuses on their interactions with ethical minorities. A woman from Gansu Province talks about how Muslims in her hometown are depicted as troublemakers and how she learned to understand why hanging the Chinese flag in a mosque is insulting. .
I got to know about the reclamation of my house, Ninh Ha Muslim Autonomous Region, after several people shared the witness account. Jin Xu, an assistant professor of art history at Vassar University who grew up there, talks about how his painting of the Nanguan Mosque, a landmark of Ningxia, won the award. the country as a sixth grader and how brutal the mosque was. regenerative Into what he told me in an interview was an ugly concrete building that removed the outward elements of Islamic art and architecture.
A chat room asked participants to criticize governments where they live, be it China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan or the United States. The moderator called on each of the people to speak by asking, “So which government do you want to criticize?” In China, where public criticism is seen as betrayal, it’s like performance art.
Some chat rooms are devoted to the bloody persecution, in 1989, in Tiananmen Square, a subject of fierce censorship on the Chinese Internet. Cai Chongguo, a student leader during the protests, spoke for about four hours, sharing his stories and answering questions from thousands of people. He said that he didn’t expect that many people to be interested.